Chocolate is not good or bad for you per say, one step to eating healthy and establishing balanced eating habits is stop thinking of foods as good and evil. There are no evil foods, food is just food. So, thankfully the answer is yes, you can still lose weight and eat chocolate. Keep in mind that you can’t have a free for all on chocolate but you don’t have to ban chocolate from your diet. Be mindful that all Chocolates are not are not created equal and cocoa its purest forms (containing the least amount of sugar) are your best choices. Eaten in moderation chocolate can have some useful health benefits.
Chocolate is Good for Your Gut
Studies show that the consumption of cocoa increases the levels of so-called friendly bacteria in the gut. Chocolate functions as a prebiotic, a prebiotic a non-digestible food ingredient that promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Prebiotics help probiotics do their job. Prebiotics work together with probiotics to allow specific changes to take place, in both the composition and activity of the gastrointestinal system. They are important to the process of gut health by maintaining the balance and diversity of intestinal bacteria, especially increasing the presence of “good bacteria” called lactobacilli and bifidobacterial.
Dark Chocolate is a Source of Antioxidants
Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which include procyanidins, epicatechins, and catechins. Flavonoids are one group of phytochemicals found naturally in red wine, tea, soy, citrus fruits, berries, apples, onions, dried beans, peas and lentils. There are thousands of different flavonoids found in many different foods. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage from free radicals is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other harmful conditions.
Eating Chocolate Can Help You Manage Cravings
This point may seem obvious. Who isn’t craving chocolate? But if you can include your favorite foods in a well-balanced diet without going overboard – this is a major step in the right direction toward losing weight and more importantly being able to keep it off. A little sweet treat once in while can help keep those cravings in check and allow you to follow your weight-loss or weight-maintenance regimen. And let’s face it, the cravings are not going away no matter how long you are able to resist – you are better served by having access to any food you desire with the ability to maintain control.
Don’t Buy Into the Hype
I want to be clear, I am not claiming that eating Chocolate accelerates fat loss – that is just ridiculous. Please do not buy into false claims in reading material or on websites stating that eating chocolate or any other item in and of itself accelerates weight loss. Its a combination of several factors and healthy behaviors that is the key to weight loss and health. If chocolate is one of your hot button foods, meaning once you get a little taste you just can’t stop – its in your best interest to avoid it. There is no one cure all and everyone’s body is different. Trying to purchase success through a magic product or eliminating all foods cast out as “unhealthy food you should never eat” just will not work. My main point is that you don’t have to eliminate chocolate or any other food that you love to lose weight. As always, find what works for you and stick with it. Consistency is Key!
Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions and share your comments.